By Kelley Vargo
Hi guys! Been a while since you’ve heard from me but I am super-excited about the new daily categories of JillFit blogs. When Jill contacted me about writing on this topic, I thought it was perfect. It’s been a little over a year since I have been on stage. With the move to DC for graduate school, I knew finding the time to compete would be difficult. Admittedly, I have missed the stage like crazy this past year.
So here it is, I am 5 weeks out. And it has been a little bit different this go around. Unlike before when I was living at home in Columbus, Ohio, my new life as a city girl and student has presented a few more challenges, though perfect opportunities for growth as a person. I have been dieting since June with an attempt to lean out nice and slow while maintaining the muscle mass I have been working hard to put on over the past year. The first week was great with diet and workouts, but after that life began to happen, to which I am sure many of you can relate :)
My new apartment was infested with cockroaches and I found myself microwaving my egg whites in my living room! In the midst of fighting off the bugs, and searching for a new place to live, I had a week long conference in Vegas. Needless to say, dieting for a week in Vegas was a challenge, but one that I took head on. The nights at the bar drinking coffee or sugar free redbull won’t be forgotten–and though sleeping on a friends couch for a month was hardly what I had anticipated for the month of July, she gave me an amazing kitchen to cook in as well as support in my apartment search. Finally, the end of July rolls around and I find a place. A day after moving in I headed to Ohio to celebrate my Grandmother’s 90th Birthday. Hesitant about traveling again, I knew family was first, especially my grandmother. Straight from Ohio I went to Baltimore to help my friend move to Gainesville, Florida via UHaul, yet another dieting challenge. Upon returning from Florida, I had a week to “settle” in before flying out to Columbus for a Sports Nutrition conference. I returned to DC for two days before heading to North Carolina for my best friend’s wedding. Phew!!
SO, here I am now, after a six hour drive, a Costco trip, and a salad dinner with a friend, sitting down to write. After contemplating this summer, I have realized I am blessed. Initially, I looked at everything as a stressor, something to throw me “off track” from my day to day regiment of the competition diet and workout schedule. For those of you who don’t know me too well, I am somewhat of a “spaz”. I like things done a certain way, and don’t handle challenges that come up all that gracefully. But if anything, I think dieting this summer has taught me to live life a little more balanced. It hasn’t been perfect, but I realize that all I can do, and have been doing, is my best in the situations I was in. I think back though to my Grandma’s birthday, the fun night in Gainesville, and my friend’s wedding. Yeah, I might not have had the chance to work out for 3 hours on those days, or eat all seven of my meals, but I did make somewhat healthy choices and made some amazing memories.
With that being said, I am 5 weeks out and traveling is over until I hit the stage. I am excited it’s now time to focus on the goal at hand: bringing home a trophy at the NPC Ohio show. Bumping up cardio this week, six days a week complemented with a 5 day split for lifting. My goals are to hold on to as much upper body mass as possible while leaning out my hamstrings. Diet has switched up a bit mostly consisting of tilapia, flank steak, chicken, egg whites, green veggies, and oats. Thank you to Costco, the protein is stocked up in the fridge!
Running around like usual As I get ready for bed tonight I am focusing on the next few weeks. School is starting back up, teaching is starting back up, a new job is lined up, and decisions to be made about my next place on the map at hand. But I am also thinking about the next five weeks until I get back on stage. I am realizing more and more, that life is about a series of moments and choices. We choose how we think, how we perceive, how we respond, and how we feel. I am choosing to be present and feel each day from here until I get up on that stage. One step, one workout, one meal, one vision at a time.
Have a great week! And good luck to all the upcoming competitors, the whole JillFit Team is rooting for you! Xo, Kel
Oh yeah, and one last thing, don’t forget….there IS more to life than flank steak and tuna :)